Syphilis Makes a Comeback Among STD's
Syphilis is a disease that was close to being eliminated as a public health threat less than a decade ago. Each year since 2000, it has increased and remains a serious threat to the health of gay and bisexual men. Syphilis is of particular concern because it can facilitate HIV transmission. All this and more in the annual report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Syphilis rates among women have increased since 2004. The rate of congenital syphilis (babies born with syphilis) increased for the second consecutive year in 2007. The CDC is now recommending that all women be screened for syphilis during the early stages of pregnancy. It is hoped that catching and treating cases of the disease early will prevent the transmission of the disease from the mother to her infant which can result in stillbirths, infant deaths, or severe complications in children who survive.
Chlamydia and gonorrhea continue to be the most commonly reported infectious diseases in the United States, exceeding 1.4 million cases in 2007. Women continue to be more affected by STD's than men. In 2007, the chlamydia rate among women was three times that of men. The gonorrhea rate was also higher among women.
The 2007 STD surveillance report also indicates ongoing racial disparities in the three most common reportable STDs. While
representing 12 percent of the U.S. population, blacks had about 70 percent of reported gonorrhea cases and almost half of all chlamydia and syphilis cases (48 percent and 46 percent respectively) in 2007.
Along with all sexually transmitted diseases (STD's), chlamydia and gonorrhea pose persistent and preventable threats to fertility when left untreated. Untreated cases can go on to cause pelvic inflammatory disease -- a condition that causes as many as 50,000 women to become infertile each year. The scarring that results from the infections can also cause ectopic pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain, and other serious health problems.
CDC recommends annual chlamydia screening for all sexually active women under 26 years old, and supports U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations to screen high-risk, sexually active women for gonorrhea.
The full report is available at http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats07/
Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases can be done by
* Proper use of condoms EVERY time you have sex
Center for Disease Control and Prevention